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Money does grow on trees

By Emily Thompson

U of A System Division of Agriculture

Fast Facts:

  • Forestry is an economic driver and job creator in Arkansas, contributing about 5 percent to the state economy.
  • ‘Economic Contributions of Arkansas Forestry’details the impact the industry has on the state.
  • Available online at

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(Newsrooms: with art at

MONTICELLO, Ark. -- The thousands of acres of timberlands that cover the state of Arkansas are valued at $12.6 billion. Arkansas is also four times more dependent on its forestry industry than the entire United States. Those are just a few of the findings in the 2016 “Economic Contributions of Arkansas Forestry” booklet, published by the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Forest Resources Center in Monticello. 

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COVERED — Cover of the Economic Contributions of Arkansas Forestry, 2016 edition.

Forestry contributes a larger percentage to Arkansas’ state economy than it does in any of the other 13 southern states.

“Right now the forestry industry contributes about 5 percent to the state economy,” said Philip Tappe, director of the Arkansas Forest Resources Center.

Readers of the booklet can expect to gain insight into the growing economic driver and the many impacts it has on the state.

“Forestry means jobs,” Tappe said.

According to the booklet, forests are job creators in Arkansas. There are 2.5 jobs created in the state for every new forestry job. Forestry makes jobs in almost all economic sectors in the state.

Forestry not only creates jobs in different economic sectors, but it also helps boost their revenue said Tappe.

“When we have a healthy forestry industry … it means we have healthy forests,” Tappe said.

Healthy forests provide scenic trails and camping sites for nature lovers and game for hunters. This, in turn, benefits the tourism and game and fish industries, Tappe said.

Outside of the economic benefits, healthy forests also make for cleaner water and air, according to the booklet.

To get a copy of the booklet, visit the Arkansas Forest Resources Center website,

To learn more about Arkansas forestry visit, or or contact your county Extension Office.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

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 Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
(501) 671-2126

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